By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Morningside Elementary School has been selected as a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for its commitment to sustainable practices.
The award honors Morningside’s leadership in facilities, health and environmental education. In addition to Morningside, two other elementary schools, as well as the University of Georgia, were among the Georgia winners of the Green Ribbon School award.
“It is with such pride that Morningside celebrates our award as a 2017 US Department of Education Green Ribbon school,” Principal Audrey Sofianos said. “It is truly an honor to be recognized for our work in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness of our students, and providing environmental education that has now become a part of our school culture.”
As part of this national award distinction, Morningside is recognized for recently installing a $5 million HVAC unit that works simultaneously to both heat and cool the building, thus reducing the need for two separate units and reducing energy costs.
The school has also established a recycling program, worked to improve the health and wellness of students and staff, and provided effective environmental and sustainability education while incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. This includes everything from student lessons and activities in the garden and Morningside’s Trees Atlanta partnership, to its turf fields that conserve water and other initiatives that have become a part of the school culture.
Across the country, 45 schools, nine districts, and nine post-secondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Morningside and the other awardees will be honored on July 19 in Washington, D.C.